while the kitchen cleaner is designed to cut through grease and
grime. Both of these products are effective at killing 99.99% of
household germs on hard, non-porous surfaces throughout any
room in the home.
Since their debut, Method all-purpose cleaners are growing
two times faster than the rest of the category, according to a company spokesperson.
Innovate, Sure. But How?
Innovation was the primary message at a recent household cleaning products conference, which took place last month in Alexandria, VA. Intertech Pira sponsored the event with help from the
American Cleaning Institute (formerly The Soap and Detergent
Association). The conference was co-chaired by Brian Sansoni, vice
president, communication and membership, and J. Keith Grime,
president, JKG Consulting and a former vice president of research
and development, Procter & Gamble (P&G).
Grime kicked off the conference with a presentation on smart
R&D, noting that concerted R&D decisions are required to compete in a dynamic global consumer product market. He noted that
today’s market place is filled with uncertainty, marked by global
economic turmoil and volatile raw material pricing. These issues
result in short formulation lifetimes, demand rapid response capability and lead to a search for alternative raw materials.
Shifting demographics are impacting the industry too, according to Grime. Baby Boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964)
are expected to account for 60% of net wealth and 40% of consumption in the U.S. by 2015. Meanwhile, in Europe, 50% of the
population will soon be 65 years old or older, while in Japan, seven
million people were born between 1947 and 1949. The older populations in Western Europe, the U.S. and Japan have resulted in
market fragmentation, proliferation and the rise of line extensions.
Despite all of these external forces, Grime noted that the need for
innovation remains stronger than ever.
“The product development cycle has become increasingly complex,” noted Grime. That’s because while consumers are demanding
more products that are truly innovative, sustainable, customized
and relatively inexpensive, they have been met by lower R&D
budgets, fewer resources and less raw materials to choose from.
“We must innovate in this environment, but how?”he asked. The
answer, he suggested, is laser focus when it comes to R&D choices,
such as making sure that every decision counts on project choice
and use of resources, while minimizing distractions.
“We have to work smarter,” Grime insisted.“Yesterday’s methods
and tools can’t deliver the business of today.”
Consumer product executives must start by asking themselves
five key questions:
• What do we want or need to work on?
• Do we have the capability and resources to deliver?